Well-being Print or save as PDF

How is it defined?

According to the World Health Organization (WHO) mental wellness is “A state of mental well-being that enables people to cope with the stresses of life, to realize their abilities, to learn well and work well, and to contribute to their communities” (World Health Organization, 2022). In comparison to the general population and other working adults, educators experience greater work-related stress and poorer physical and mental health outcomes (Johnson et al., 2005). Experiencing high stress is detrimental to teachers’ overall well-being, the quality of their teaching, and retention within the profession (Harmsen et al., 2018). Moreover, chronic stress among educators can negatively impact student achievement (Klusmann et al., 2016). As such, efforts to enhance educator well-being and support stress management among teachers are crucial (Schussler et al., 2016).

The Learning Bar's Staff Survey framework is based on 13 core indicators designed to capture the key metrics of employee health and well-being. Together, these indicators support the development of a positive school climate.

Why is it important?

  • Teachers who experience stress report feelings of exhaustion, tension, and frequent headaches (Dunham, 1984).
  • Positive psychological well-being is associated with increased levels of job satisfaction, and the ability to cope with stressful situations experienced at work (Trucchia et al., 2013).
  • Increasing student engagement can reduce teacher burnout and improve teacher self-efficacy (Covell et al., 2009).

How do we measure it?

The OurSCHOOL Staff Survey includes two measures designed to assess the perceived ability to cope with stressors, and the perceived level of support available at the school. The Coping measure includes five items and the Support measure includes six items. The results are respectively reported as “the percentage of staff who experience positive coping” and “the percentage of staff who experience support.”

The survey also includes three items asking respondents to report on perceptions of their life satisfaction, general health and whether their job affects their health on a scale from 0 to 10. The results are respectively reported as “the percentage of staff with positive life satisfaction”, “the percentage of staff with positive general health” and “the percentage of staff whose job affects health.”


Covell, K., McNeil, J. K., & Howe, R. B. (2009). Reducing teacher burnout by increasing student engagement: A children’s rights approach. School Psychology International, 30(3), 282-290.

Dunham, J. (1984). Stress in teaching. Croom Helm.

Harmsen, R., Helms-Lorenz, M., Maulana, R., & van Veen, K. (2018). The relationship between beginning teachers’ stress causes, stress responses, teaching behaviour and attrition. Teachers and Teaching, 24(6), 626-643.

Johnson, S., Cooper, C., Cartwright, S., Donald, I., Taylor, P., & Millet, C. (2005). The experience of work-related stress across occupations. Journal of Managerial Psychology, 20, 178-187.

Klusmann, U., Richter, D., & Lϋdtke, O. (2016). Teachers’ emotional exhaustion is negatively related to students’ achievement: Evidence from a large-scale assessment study. Journal of Educational Psychology, 108(8), 1193-1203.

Schussler, D. L., Jennings, P. A., Sharp, J. E., & Frank, J. L. (2016). Improving teacher awareness and well-being through CARE: A qualitative analysis of the underlying mechanisms. Mindfulness, 7(1), 130-142.

Trucchia, S. M., Lucchese, M. S., Enders, J. E., & Fernández, A. R. (2013). Relationship between academic performance, psychological well-being, and coping strategies in medical students. Revista de la Facultad de Ciencias Medicas (Cordoba, Argentina), 70(3), 144-152.

World Health Organization. (2022). World mental health report: Transforming mental health for all. World Health Organization.

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